She received a phone call late at night while away on a vacation with her husband.. She answered it. On the other end her daughter was crying, “Grandpa hurt us, he hurt all of us..” Trying to calm her down and understand, she asks, “What do you mean he hurt you?? Is your grandma there?” Her daughter replies, “Yes but she's in the other room. Grandpa had us alone, he touched us mom..” Her daughter is crying uncontrollably, the mother is infuriated and confused. She tells her husband to get in the car and they drive home as fast as they can. They arrive and do not understand what is happening. The grandfather and grandmother say the children are making up stories. She is so frazzled she can not think straight so she packs the children in the car, takes them home and then stays up all night listening to each one about what exactly happened.
This is a mom of 3. She had left her children at her mother and father in-laws as she had done many times before. All she wanted was a weekend alone with her husband, but that phone call rocked her entire world.
The kids explained the way their grandfather had sexually assulted them. The Grandmother apparently knew what was going on but turned a blind eye to it. The mother was fuming, and could not wait to confront the man on what he had done.
The next morning she drives over to her in-laws house with her husband. She screams at the man, telling him to explain himself. She curses him, but no words can make up for what he did. When questioned, the man replies with a smug look on his face, “Yes I did those things.” He doesn't seem the least bit threatened by her or the least bit sorry. She yells everything that comes to her mind, tells him he is going to court and he will be put away for this but for some reason there is no fear in this man's eyes.
Standing up to this man was only the beginning. Sexual assault cases have a tendency to get buried and misrepresented. The men generally have a persona they put out to the rest of the world where people never seem to believe the victims. This mom did not care what his persona came off as...he hurt her children, she believed her children, and she wanted justice.
Unfortunately this woman was put through hell trying to receive justice for her children. Not only did she have to stand up to this man, she had to stand up to the entire family. She took the case to court but her sister in law, who was a cop, got involved and began destroying the evidence over and over because she did not want to see her dad in jail. This woman stood up to her, got her off the case, stood up to the judges, who believed the man over her children, and stood up to her whole extended family as they told her she was crazy, they told her her kids must have made it up.
This went on for about two years. Two years of fighting, two years of her being the voice for her children over and over until finally.. she realized it was only causing her children to continuously relive this situation. She spoke with them and they decided to drop the case but she explained she would protect them and they would never ever have to see that man again.
As sad as it is that the children did not receive justice for what was done, this is the hard truth of how a lot of cases go. What they did have that a lot of children do not, was a mother who was willing to go to any and all lengths to protect them. These children are grown now and still suffer some of the side effects from the situation, but they love their mother dearly and know for a fact that no matter what is thrown at them in their life, their mother will have their back no matter what.
It takes strength to do what this mom did. Her courage and tenacity is unbelievable. She is an incredible woman and I only wish that more abuse victims had a person like her to be a voice for them as well. The world needs people to take a stand, to be bold and courageous, because regardless of if the outcome is exactly what you were hoping for, at least the voice was heard by someone and one voice can make a difference.
- a the word changes contributor